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View Diary: "America, He's Your President for Goodness Sake" (130 comments)

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  •  For goodness sake (0+ / 0-)

    Americans have been hurling vile insults at their Presidents since the country's birth.

    A Republican congressman from Wisconsin once called Franklin Roosevelt, "a man who can't stand on his own feet without crutches."  Georgic governor Eugene Talmadge referred to him as "that cripple in the White House."  The Republicans mercilessly ripped on Grover Cleveland for having an illegitimate child with a ditty that went, "Ma, ma, where's my Pa?  Off to the White House, ha, ha, ha!"  Andrew Jackson accused President John Quincy Adams of providing hookers to Russian diplomats.  And, of course, Republicans accused President Clinton of having Vince Foster murdered.  Jim Webb told the press that he wanted to punch George Bush's lights out after an unfriendly personal exchange at a White House dinner.

    And you're whining that Jon Stewart called Obama, "Dude"?  Insulting Presidents and politicians is as American as apple pie.  As Harry Truman, who himself was the recipient of some pretty degrading insults from "dumb" to "Communist" and was burned in effigy for firing Douglas MacArthur, famously said, "If you can't take the heat, you better get out of the kitchen."  President Obama gets that, which is why he never appears to let the insults get to him.  His supporters should try to do likewise and not take these insults so personally.  If insults bother you, then politics is probably the wrong racket for you.

    "However, these are not normal times; the people are jumpy and very ready to run after strange gods." - Franklin Roosevelt c. 1935

    by puakev on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 05:38:27 PM PST

    •  UM (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vernonbc, sherijr, moonpal, lightshine

      The Republicans mercilessly ripped on Grover Cleveland for having an illegitimate child with a ditty that went, "Ma, ma, where's my Pa?  Off to the White House, ha, ha, ha!"

      Think about it, do you think President Obama would even be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, much less be elected President if he had an illegitimate child?

      Georgic governor Eugene Talmadge referred to him as "that cripple in the White House."

      In the 1930s-40s it was customary to ridicule handicapped people in pretty much the same the way it we now ridicule people's physical (non-handicapping)features (e.g., Mitch McConnell's "turtle neck."). Political correctness was not the order of the day. In 2010, a president on crutches would NEVER be openly ridiculed by the opposition.

      I think you're deliberately bringing up every and any instance of Presidents being ridiculed, attacked or insulted to try to compare them with what is currently being done to this president. But no one is a fool here, so nice try, but fail.

      •  I am (0+ / 0-)

        bringing up insults hurled at past presidents precisely to compare them to the experience of the current president, to show how this isn't some unique phenomenon, that was the point.  

        "However, these are not normal times; the people are jumpy and very ready to run after strange gods." - Franklin Roosevelt c. 1935

        by puakev on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 06:03:59 PM PST

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    •  Funny, how they never laughed at FDR's handicap.. (5+ / 0-)

      even the most vile of Republicans.

      There were places that they would not go.

      Yet, for this man...bones in the nose and accusations that he is not a "real" American have become standard fare.

      •  you never saw that clip on youtube of (0+ / 0-)

        FDR in his chair and that guy was screaming at him to go beg on the other side of town whilst throwing dollar bills at him?

        hmmm, I could be confusing two events.

        Well, the difference between FDR and Obama?  One had the courage to take hold of a country on the brink and put himself out there as a sacrificial lamb if his policies didn't work; while the other ran to the middle looking to please at least half the people half the time in the hopes that he wouldn't be a one term president.  One had the courage of conviction; the other hides behind compromise.  One lead; the other tries to lead.  One won the hearts and minds of the working class because he got them back to work, one lost the hearts and minds of the working class because he focused on symptoms and not the disease.

        But we do live in fucked up times.  A time when Ronald Reagan is deified for cutting taxes and building up our military (while tripling our national debt over 200 years, in only 8 years)...while a visionary and humanitarian like Jimmy Carter is still vilified for being a pussy.  Ronald Reagan spent his entire life as a whore seeking fame.  Jimmy Carter has spent his entire life serving his state, his country, being a philanthropist and humanitarian and statesman.

        But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have laid my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams. -- Yeats

        by Bill O Rights on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 07:14:46 PM PST

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    •  And you're whining that Jon Stewart called Obama, (0+ / 0-)

      Notice the ever-popular negative verb to label one's thoughts and belief: whining  

      Also note this writer spent time on my comments about Jon Stewart (who is nothing to me as I do not watch his show and do not really care for his humor) vs. the essence of the article.

      The essence related to how we treat people who manage to win the Office of the Presidency.  I think it obvious that many Presidents have faced such joking forms of ridicule; no problem. But, in the higher context of things, I see, and saw, more in the interview that Stewart performed with the President. Fully acknowledging that the President sit for the interaction with Stewart; no problem. Thus, he should have, and was a big guy, about the whole matter.  Now, As I reflect back to the example from the Author (William Thomas) my mind went directly to the Stewart interviews and Stewart's subsequent interview with Rachel Maddow.

      In my opinion, he was playing to a much broader audience in both cases and I saw it as pandering to the (example) only 7 million who watched FOX News election day coverage and others who watch his show).  As an entertainer he was right to use whatever tool he wanted (on his show).  

      The comment may not have come from me had I not read the article from Mr. Thomas. I am happy that I read the article and saw the Stewart interviews.

      I could delve a little deeper here but it is a response and not a diary.
      I absolutely find it interesting that you used the word "whining'.  You see ones motives show in their actions.

      It is also a word that is commonly used by the RIGHT to attempt at negative reflection on another.

      Now, one last point. Does you assertion, somewhat based in fact, that people have been hurling insults at Presidents since the beginning of time, suggest that it is completely acceptable behavior? BTW, I did not consider the Stewart "dude' comment an insult. I consider it evidence of a mindset just as author Thomas delineated.

      Please try to keep in mind that Williams Thomas's article was about far more than insults.  In fact, it was about a mindset and behavior that follows the mindset.

      I went through the very same process As I read your comments and your characterization of "whining".  I was equally careful not to respond with negative characterizations and potentially inflammatory verbs.

      In America one should be able to pass an opinion and not be labeled a 'whiner'. :-)

      If we forget our past, we are doomed to relive it...........

      by The Pardu on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 11:27:07 AM PST

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